Blood Red: Hoop-Tober 4.0 – Week One

blood red hoop-tober week 1

We’re one week into the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon, and five films in it’s been a bit of mixed bag.  On the plus side Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It plays like gangbusters on the big screen, building scares more like action sequences and (for the most part) eschewing needless jump scares.  And Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse had a great grimy feel mixed in with its Hitchcockian thriller elements.  Alas, Burnt Offerings was too slow and boring despite some truly unnerving scenes and a killer cast with Oliver Reed, Karen Black and Bette Davis.  The House on Willow Street took an interesting premise (thieves take girl hostage who happens to be possessed by a demon) and kills it with terrible dialog and performances.  And I wish I could say I really enjoyed the meta-commentary in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, but it wasn’t enough to redeem what they did to Freddy.

Great opening, though.   Continue reading

Blood Red: Hoop-Tober Marathon Kickoff

Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-blood red header

It’s been a while since we’ve talked horror on this site, but that’s about to change in a big way.  In our inaugural post I talked about the annual horror marathon I participate in each year over at Letterboxd.  Founded and organized by Cinemonster, each year the challenge is to watch and review 31 horror films between September 15th and Halloween.  Easy so far, but there’s a catch: each year there are different rules and restrictions that must be met in order to successfully complete the marathon.    Continue reading

Blood Red: Train to Busan, Hush, & Starry Eyes (Netflix Edition)

Blood Red - Train to Busan, Hush, Starry Eyes

Another month, another Sunday, another Blood Red.  You’d think we’d try to be thematic and center this month’s entries around movies with mothers, right? Heck, we could do Mother’s Day, Goodnight, Mommy, and Psycho right off the top of my head.  But that of course would imply a level of foresight and preparation that would go against everything we’ve done for this column so far.  Besides, I literally just remembered that it was Mother’s Day as I was writing this, so really I’m thinking about all the trouble I’m going to be in when I come to my wife empty handed.  That’s the real horror, folks.

So in the meantime let’s take a look at three recent films streaming on Netflix, the MOTHER OF ALL STREAMING NETWORKS (see?  Thematic!) that are more than worth your time.  Zombies, psychotic killers and bargains with the powers of evil are all here in Train to Busan, Hush, and Starry Eyes.   Continue reading

Blood Red: Giallo! Giallo!

Where would we be without the Italian giallo, I ask you? The genre has a bright and varied history, mixing pulp thriller with outright horror, extensive gore and outlandish scenarios that would be ridiculous if they weren’t so amazing at the same time. The “classic” American slashers of the 80s hold a huge debt to these films and you can see in the best of them shades of the crazed psychological underpinnings and obsession with violence gallo built its bones on.

For this month’s edition of Blood Red I wanted to take a little space to talk about a pair of classics that have influenced generations of horror films. So if you’re new to giallo there’s no better place to start than Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood and Dario Argento’s Deep Red.   Continue reading

Blood Red: The Girl With All the Gifts, Under the Shadow, & Phantasm: Remastered

Little known fact about me: before taking up the call to metal for Nine Circles, I used to write about movies. A lot. Since 2005 I wrote film reviews for various blogs and sites, and for the past three years have been participating in a massive horror marathon over on Letterboxed called Hoop-tober, where under a strict set of guidelines around what you could watch hundreds of horror fans would attempt to watch and review 31 horror films in 31 days (you can see my picks for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and if you love horror, I encourage you to give it a shot).  So when our Stalwart Editor™ asked if I was interested in doing some type of horror column I jumped at the chance. With so many streaming options and even some services dedicated to curating horror there’s a lot to wade through, so each month I’ll be spending some words talking about new releases, streaming picks, and some of my favorite classics, cult or otherwise.

We’ll play around a bit with format, but for today I want to talk about a trio of films definitely worth a watch and readily available for your discerning eye: The Girl with All the Gifts, Under the Shadow, and the remastered classic Phantasm.   Continue reading